Supporting Small Businesses

Hey guys! I just wanted to extend a warm welcome to all of you who have subscribed and tuned into my blog. Y’all are absolutely amazing and I am so appreciative of the support. I was talking to a co-worker a few days ago about how I couldn’t believe I was describing myself as a "blogger" now. I am pretty excited to see where this blog goes and I am so happy to have my amazing readers by my side for this journey of mine.


On the topic of support and appreciation, I am dedicating this post to a few of my favourite small businesses. The amount of hard work and effort that goes into owning a successful business is astonishing. I will forever be proud of all these entrepreneurs out there who go for the gold and make their dreams come alive. I do believe that it is hard to own a successful business in this day and age. There are so many factors that can help and/or hurt a small business, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. I will always preach about supporting as many small businesses as you can before turning to the big corporations. Trust me...I can understand how hard it is to try new places or to buy from new shops. This is coming from the girl who overthinks literally EVERYTHING when it comes to a new purchase or going to a new place. It can be a little exhausting, however, I try my best to push myself out of my comfort zone when I can. Obviously, I can see where there may be a barrier for some people. I understand it's hard to change it up sometimes, but I do believe it's good to learn how to feel comfortable with a bit of change in our "normal" day-to-day. Small businesses need our support, and for the most part, trying something new ends up being the best thing you could do.


So, I could be wrong...buuut I'm pretty sure the majority of us know about or have at least heard about Etsy. I have to say it is one of my favourite websites to shop on. I’ve had a really good experience with the website itself, but also with the small shop owners as well. I will admit that it is pretty dangerous to leave me alone in a room with a computer and knowledge of having extra money in my bank account though. Online shopping is one of my greatest weaknesses and that definitely doesn’t help when it comes to budgeting or you know…saving for my future. Sheeesh...I need to do better. But that's a whole different thing in itself.


Etsy is a platform that supports thousands, if not millions, of small businesses. In the past year or so, I’ve grown to love a couple businesses that provided great customer service and amazing products. The first small business is called BotanyBarnCanada (.https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/BotanyBarnCanada?ref=shop_sugg) They sell products that are all natural and eco-friendly. Some product examples include lotions, homemade soaps, gift sets, lip balms, etc. I bought a few gift sets for friends’ birthdays and I was not disappointed whatsoever. I got amazing reviews from my friends as well, and I highly recommend checking it out. Another small business that I discovered on Etsy is WildRoseBathCo (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WildRoseBathCo?ref=shop_sugg). The products absolutely blew my mind. Perfect packaging, labeling, and scents for the body butter(s) I ordered. I got my mom one called “Fruity Loops” and the quality of the product just straight up blew me away. I fell in love instantly! When I tell you my mom couldn't put it on any faster I'm serious. The speed was impeccable.


I’d like to give a special shout out to another business in particular known as Rose Quartz & Co (https://www.rosequartzco.ca). The creator behind this business is someone I truly admire and appreciate as a human being. Her and her partner created this business a couple years ago, if not more, and it has easily become many people’s favourite place to shop for 100% vegan and Canadian sourced products. You can find a variety of soaps, balms, and some facial care products to choose from. I ordered from them once and I remember absolutely adoring the packaging and truly feeling the love that went into packaging my products. I can totally understand why their business blew up so fast with the incredible quality of the products, and with them being super loveable individuals. If you’re interested in buying from a business that supports you, our planet, and nature, I highly suggest looking into it and reading about their brand. I think you’ll easily fall in love with the products and the owners.


If you reside in the Durham region/GTA area, you may know the next few businesses I’m going to talk about. I haven’t personally bought from these businesses but I’ve been told amazing reviews from reliable sources. Crave Doughnuts (https://cravedoughnuts.com) has to be my ultimate favourite dessert place in my area. A while ago, my manager bought us a couple boxes from them and we had fun trying all the different and unique flavours. I have yet to buy some for my boyfriend and I to try out, but I 100% support this business. The aesthetic is also extremely cute. Another business I would love to try one day is called Mathilda’s (.https://www.mathildas.ca) This is an all vegan restaurant that focuses on plant-based meals and promotes healthy living in order to maintain long-term health. I am in no way vegan; however, I would love to try some healthy meals from this business. I've heard that the owner is also super inspiring and very likeable, so that definitely gives me more reason to support the business. If you're ever in the area I highly suggest checking these places out.


On a side note, I think it would be so cool to create my own business one day. I do see myself doing other things before becoming an entrepreneur of course, which is why I haven't felt the need to begin that journey. Although, I'll admit that I did apply to a business program when I applied to college recently. This served as more of a "Plan D" option, but I can honestly say that it would be exciting to start a small business. Before I knew what I wanted to go to school for, I played with the idea of opening up my own coffee shop one day. I've been working at Starbucks for a couple years now and it has taught me a lot about the industry and how to create a positive experience for everyone. Obviously it wouldn't necessarily be a walk in the park at first, but I do think it would be so much fun to run a cool cafe of some sort. I don't know. Sometimes my brain goes into overdrive just thinking about all the different possibilities I have for my life. The amount of skills and qualities we each have is so mind-blowing. I don't think we all recognize the potential we have as individuals and as a unit.


Personally, I think it's so amazing to imagine and day dream about the future. Obviously it's important to live in the present, to set reasonable goals for yourself, and to be kind to yourself during each "marathon of life". Everyone operates on their own time and what you dream of now may be completely different compared to what you dream of in six months. I think what I'm trying to get at is that it's important to think about the future. You don't need a set plan because life itself doesn't operate like that. But it is important and necessary to create some sort of momentum and growing pattern.


So, if you feel ready enough to take a new step in your life. I do suggest having a hard conversation with yourself about what you see yourself doing in the next couple years or so. You don't have to jump at the next big idea you have, but I do suggest maybe just asking yourself a few questions like:


1) What do I consider my strengths and weaknesses? How can I use this to filter out ideas and/or plans for the future?

2) In this moment, what are things I need to focus on for my overall well-being (emotional, physical, spiritual, social)? Can I make at least one reasonable goal to commit to?

3) What do I like/dislike doing? Can this help me narrow down my options?

4) What is the most prominent factor keeping me from reaching a future goal, and is there a way to support my personal growth in order to reach this goal?


If I’m being completely honest I could talk about small businesses and just life in general for hours and hours. I love to browse and explore new small businesses in order to find the ones I resonate with the most. Also, I'm learning how to love talking about the future again. It's been quite a long time since I've been happy to talk about my personal goals. I understand it can be a lot sometimes. I'm just hoping that it's more helpful than annoying at this point. It just makes me so happy to see other people thrive and be successful in reaching their goals. I always want the best for you guys.


Also, If you have any small business suggestions for me please feel free to get in touch with me or start a post/discussion in the forum. I'd love to hear about your experiences and the businesses you love to go to.


If you’ve made it this far…thank you so much for being here. I’m so grateful for you and your time (I know today's blog was a long one). Let me know if you end up checking into any of the business I named in this blog. I hope y’all are staying safe and thriving. xx


-AP

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